And then there's this story about my dad, whom I love so much that he got his own category heading on this blog. If I had to boil down the essence of my father into one story, this one would be a good choice.
First, some background: my dad has had a lot of nasal operations, and can't smell very well (which means he also isn't very good at tasting). Because of these nasal operations, he's got scar tissue up near his eye, which has started giving him double vision and necessitates him wearing a patch, which he, understandably, is not happy about. He also loves candy.
So, being the loving and sometimes mean daughter that I am, I thought it'd be really funny to send him a box of Harry Potter Jelly Bellies--you know, the ones that some regular flavors, but also some really nasty ones. Earwax, for example. Or sardine, vomit, and rotten egg.
I warned him ahead of time that he needed to read the box before eating them. "Please dad, make sure you read the box," I remember saying to him. "It's very important. Promise me you'll read it."
So I get a call from him this morning on my cell phone and have the following conversation:
Dad: Catherine, I wanted to thank you for the box of jelly beans you sent me. I was feeling depressed and they really cheered me up. I ate all of them.
Me: That's great--but did you notice anything weird about them?
Dad: There were a lot of flavors. There were supposed to be 40 but I only counted 35.
Me: You counted the flavors?
Dad: Yes. There were only 35 of them that I could tell. But you know, you don't get all the flavors in every box.
Me: What about the vomit flavor? Did you notice that one?
Dad: (In the same unconcerned tone one might use to say that there hadn't been any cherry) No, I don't remember a vomit one. Maybe it wasn't in there.
Me: But did you notice that there were weird flavors? What did you think about ear wax?
Dad: I don't remember that one.
Me: It would have been the one that tasted like ear wax.
Dad: Well, I've never tasted ear wax, so I don't really know.
(Side note: who out there has never tasted their own ear wax? Am I alone in this?)
Me: But what about sardine? Did you get that one?
Dad: Oh, yes. That one tasted like fish.
Me: What did you think of it?
Dad: It wasn't particularly good.
Me: But so there wasn't like, a moment when you realized that there were disgusting flavors?
Dad: Well, I didn't read the box--I just looked at each bean carefully before I ate it and tried to memorize what it looked like. Then I put it in my mouth and tried to identify the flavor, and if I couldn't get it, I looked at the back of the box and tried to match up its description with what it looked like. I nearly got kicked out of Bloomingdale's.
(Note: why he was doing this in Bloomingdale's is also unclear.)
Me: And the dirt?
Dad: I don't remember that one specifically. But I don't really mind dirt.
Dad: I didn't notice that one. But my teachers in Catholic school used to make me wash my mouth out with soap for saying bad things, so maybe I'm used to it.
Me: (really struggling now) What about the bacon?
Dad: Oh, that one was GREAT. I would buy a whole bunch of those. You know me and bacon.
(I do know him and bacon. He would definitely buy those beans.)
So that's pretty much it in a nutshell. My father is:
-really into candy
-can't taste too well
-enjoys trying new things, especially when doing so involves eating
-apparently doesn't mind if his daughter sends him jellybeans that taste like booger
This is the blog for Salt Magazine.